Chrysler to separate Dodge and Viper brands in order to boost the new SRT brand

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 3, 2012

Brands Dodge and Viper will be separated as part of Chrysler’s international strategy as well as a plan to boost the SRT brand. Chrysler has recently announced that the next-generation SRT Viper will start production in late 2012 at its Conner Avenue, Detroit assembly plant, which will be reopened to produce the two-passenger sports car. It was in July 2010 that the Viper unit was last produced there.

The automaker said that the name Dodge won’t be used by the redesigned SRT Viper. Dodge and Viper have been tied to each other ever since the debut in 1989 of the Dodge Viper RT/10 concept.

Chrysler said that the first Dodge Viper SRT-10 started selling in 1992. To date, over 28,056 Vipers have been built. But what Chrysler now wants to do is for the SRT to be a brand with its own vehicle -- the SRT Viper. Chrysler is making this move because it considers the SRT Viper to be the halo vehicle for the brand, according to Chrysler spokesman Dan Reid.

He described SRT to be the company’s “high-performance” segment. He added that the separation of the brands and the entire brand philosophy will “evolve over time.”

The name “Dodge” is also being separated so that Chrysler could market the car as the SRT Viper outside the U.S. without bearing any relation to the Dodge brand. It’s also believed that in this regard, the car could be sold at a higher price.

For instance, the SRT Viper may be offered in a Maserati dealership in China or an Alfa Romeo store in Italy, without getting linked to the name Dodge (which is best known for its mainstream U.S. trucks). Reid won’t elaborate on the international strategy. He said that additional details will be revealed this April at the New York auto show, where the redesigned car will debut.

Chrysler’s Street and Racing Technology brand has taken the veil off the new 2013 SRT Viper at the 2012 New York International Auto Show. Representing the fifth generation of the iconic American-built supercar, the 2013 SRT Viper is a high-class evolution vehicle that boasts of superior performance, excellent craftsmanship, ergonomic enhancements and new technologies.

It will be offered in two new models – the SRT Viper and SRT Viper GTS models -- and will be hand-assembled at the Conner Avenue Assembly Plant in Detroit. Ralph Gilles, president and chief executive of Street and Racing Technology Brand and Motorsports at Chrysler Group LLC, remarked that the new 2013 SRT Viper supercar is not just the flagship for the new SRT brand, but is a strong statement that they would not allow Chrysler Group’s performance icon to fade away.

He quipped that the continued existence of the Viper was made possible by the combined will of a very special group of performance enthusiasts inside the company and across Viper Nation, thus pushing the new leadership to create a world-class supercar showcasing the very best that the brand could offer. Both models of the new 2013 SRT Viper boast of new exterior designs.

They feature high-tech carbon fiber and aluminum skin laden with aerodynamically functional details that make use of premium materials. Both models also boast of refined touch points, upgraded material appointments and new technologies.

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